Restoration has officially begun on the historic German American Club in Ybor City. The building, constructed in 1909, will soon serve as a new state-of-the-art facility for Metro Inclusive Health (METRO), and CAN Community Health.
Mayor Jane Castor joined officials from the organizations for the groundbreaking ceremony.
What inclusive health means
METRO began providing HIV case management back in 1992. Today, the organization provides more than 100 services for the health and wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community, but available to all, including full-service primary care, prevention, and sexual health and advanced HIV care and treatment with partner CAN.
In 2018, METRO services touched 18,204 people directly, according to a release from the nonprofit.
Demand for services has only increased in 2019. METRO reports that they’ve served more than 4,100 people in the first quarter of 2019.
Doubling impact in the city of Tampa
That demand is why the new facility is essential. When the 30,000 square foot restoration and expansion of the facility is completed, METRO will double their impact in the city of Tampa.
The updates are all about preserving The German American Club’s history. The Grand Hall will be fully restored and is set to serve as a new gathering place for METRO’s community programs.
Of course, there will be some updates. METRO is building out a 3-story, 15,000 square foot addition to the historic building.
METRO considered an industry model
METRO is the second-largest health center of its kind in operating budget next to the LGBT Center in Los Angeles.
Considered an “industry model,” the nonprofit’s Copay it Forward program has helped provide healthcare to uninsured patients across the state. It’s delivered more than $370,000 in services in 2019 alone, according to a release.
This is a major win for Tampa. The organization currently employs 50 Tampa Bay residents and could add dozens more jobs once the facility is complete.
Follow METRO on Facebook for updates on the new smart health center, located at 2105 N Nebraska Avenue.